Emilio Draig K | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Colombian Maduro
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 42 “Corona”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.80 MSRP


My best friend of 56 years, Skip H., sent me a care package. About 15 years ago, Skip was smoking Avantis. I put a gun to his head and mentored him in the right direction. I turned him on to Small Batch Cigar the same time I learned about it. So while perusing the site for cigars for himself, he picked me up some too.

While most online stores are selling the cigar for somewhere in the $9 range, go to Small Batch Cigar and be prepared for the WOW factor.

If you know anything about boutique brands, you know that Emilio Griffith is quickly becoming the king of the distributors of said cigars. He has an ever growing list of cigars he represents. You can visit his web site HERE.

The Emilio Draig K was released in 2012. It is a limited release run of only 400 boxes per year, per size.
There is a whole back story about Emilio and his clients but I find it a bit dry and will let the A List reviewers give you the whole story. I’m not big on providing total biographical information on a blender. I really don’t think smokers care a rat’s ass that a cigar is named after the friend of the owner whose cousin was a painter and whose niece was the sister, and inspiration for the cigar band and that her daughter came up with the name of the cigar but then partnered with Shroom Cigars in order to get into regular production mode.

Sizes are:
Corona: 5.5 x 42
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50

I do feel compelled to tell you that the cigar is made at Nestor Plasencia’s factory in Honduras.

I think Skip made a good choice in picking the corona sized stick. Clearly, it is going to be a flavor intense cigar.

The stick is close to being coal jet black. It is a little on the rustic side with lumpiness here and there. Invisible seams and lots of small veins. The triple cap just melts into itself. There is just the slightest bit of oil on the surface with quite a bit of toothiness.

The cigar band is stunning. And I applaud Emilio for using a band that fits the size of the cigar. So many brands go on the cheap and use the exact same cigar band for every size of the line which makes the big ones look ridiculous and the small ones overwhelmed.

But in close up, the brightly colored dragon and background fade into blurriness.

Due to the size of the cigar, this will be a short review from here on in.

I clip the cap and find aromas of dark, dark chocolate, baking spices, and herbal notes.
Time to light up.

Big dose of chocolate in the first puffs. Quickly behind that, is a power blast of red pepper. A mélange of flavors descend upon my palate: herbal notes, floral notes, fruit, sweetness, and leather.

The fruit has more than one component; one is black cherry. The other is Rainier cherry. One is darker and heavier while the other is lighter and crisper.

Creaminess appears by the ½” mark. This stick will be a flavor bomb before it reaches another ½”.

The char line is the tiniest bit wavy. The draw is excellent. I’ve only had these sticks a week and was dying to write. So I dry boxed them for 72 hours because I read that Emilio himself said that the cigars arrive to the consumer a little too wet. After the 72 hours of dry boxing, I put the cigars into a low humidity humidor for 2 days. And then I removed it and dry boxed it for 24 hours before reviewing it. A little convoluted but it can hasten the humidor aging process a bit if you are in a big hurry to smoke it.

I read in one review of this cigar that apple spice was tasted. Now, I’ve never had that experience and was hoping beyond expectations that I would taste it as well.

And the reviewer was spot on. It is uncanny. Outside of a flavored cigar, I have never tasted the brew of mulled, hot apple cider. The ingredients to mulled spiced cider: orange, lemon, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, and maple syrup.

The strength is barely medium body as I approach the second third. But the flavor profile attains bona fide flavor bomb status. There are so many distinct, and wonderful, flavors zinging past my brain that it is like a flash card exercise.

But I will try and list them: Creaminess, chocolate, spice, an intense sweetness, mulled apple cider, cherries, plum, black licorice, leather, herbal notes, and a deep, rich earthiness.

This cigar makes me very happy. It is unique and superb. Not the Esteli Brand of flavoring. A change up is good once in a while.

The cigar gets into gear after smoking 2”. The strength hits medium/full from what appeared to be a disappointing mild/medium body.

I’ve only spent 15 minutes with this cigar. So on that assumption; this will be a 30 minute smoke. Yikes. $12 for a half hour smoke. I am not a Rothschild.

But wait, there’s more. Go to the Small Batch Cigar web site and they sell the box of 10 for $68. Take off the 10% for inserting the word leafenthusiast in the coupon code window and voila! You are now spending $6.12 per stick, not $9, not $10, not $11.

I am dead center at the halfway mark. Instead of waiting weeks, or even months, I managed to get this cigar ready to smoke in less than a week. The flavor profile explodes in my face like a pie out of Soupy Sales’ hands.

These flavors are uniqueness personified.

A new flavor arrives: Dried mango. Each time I visit Trader Joe’s; I buy a couple packages of dried mango. The unsweetened kind. So I know this flavor over, under, sideways, down.

This is the most uniquely flavored cigar I’ve smoked. Period. And strangely, it does not revolve around the earthiness of the tobacco. So I can see why the MSRP price points are so high. This is art.

The complexity is incredibly strong. The finish is the chewiest I’ve ever had. And the balance is perfection.
I don’t want this cigar to end so I really take my time with it as the last third begins. I want to milk every flavor from it.

Most of the reviews I read focus around just the chocolate element. There is so much more than cocoa. In fact, the dark chocolate weaves its way around the other flavors like a string.

Normally, a small corona will become very hot at the end. Not this baby. Cool as a cuke. No harshness. No nicotine. No bitterness. Perfect.

I try to nub it but I need a roach clip and I’m plumb out of them. Remember the good ol’ days when we all had a big collection of those things? It is like how pistol enthusiasts, like myself, are always buying new holsters. It’s an addiction. And if you are one, check out Milt Sparks Holsters. They are all custom made and take about two months to get one after you place an order. I have several. The only downside is that they aren’t cheap.

Go to Small Batch Cigar and get some before they’re gone. The owner knows Emilio but with only 400 boxes available in each size, who knows how long before they are gone until next year. And paying $6.12 per stick beats the shit out of paying $9 a stick.

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1 reply

  1. Had my eye on this one and you confirmed my suspicion. 🙂